As I understand it, the Babylonian Talmud was written in the 3rd to the 5th centuries CE. At that point, Judaism was already a well-established religion. The Babylonian Talmud contains explanations and commentaries on the Oral and Written law (correct me if I'm wrong please).
What I don't understand is why the Babylonian Talmud is considered scripture or "almost" scripture. What was special about the Babylonian rabbis that made their thoughts and arguments more authoritative than, say, contemporary rabbis?
In contrast, in Christianity, the "commentaries" are the letters written by people blessed with holy spirit such as Paul. Thus, it makes sense that new commentaries cannot be added or old ones challenged because there can be no new apostles. Is there some similar explanation for the authoritativeness of the Babylonian Talmud?